News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: February 2009

  1. New Apex for Edinburgh

    apex With a rich history, this landmark building at the east end of Princes Street in Edinburgh is returning to hotel trading after 120 years.

    Built in 1819, the Waterloo Hotel was the first purpose-built large scale hotel in Edinburgh and is located moments from Waverley train station and the city's main shopping district.

    Advertised in 1819 as "an establishment where strangers could see the manners of the people and mix with the society of the place" the new hotel will combine the traditional features of this historic building with the contemporary style that Apex Hotels have become well known for.

    Opening on the 16th March special accommodation offers from just £69 a night - further details


  2. Watch your step - Don't get wet 2

    Last month we ran the story of Premier Inns Floating Hotel and this month we have to pay our respects to Chesley B Sullenberger III who proved that an Airbus can float!

    US Airways The pictures of the US Airways Airbus floating in the Hudson River on the 16th January are a remarkable testament to the strength of the airframe and safety features built into the Airbus as well as the cool bravery of the pilot and his air crew. Captain Chesley Sullenberger personally walked up and down the aisle in the aircraft twice to ensure all his passengers were out of the aircraft before he finally escaped on to the wing carrying a clipboard with his passenger manifest.

    He achieved the most successful landing of a commercial aircraft on the water and ten minutes after being rescued he was seen quietly sipping a hot coffee and his tie wasn't even loosened!

    See the Twitters video link here


  3. ACTE conducts survey after Hudson River incident

    ACTE The Association of Corporate Travel Executives has conducted a survey of corporates following the incident in which a US Airways plane was forced to land on the Hudson River. It has been reported that 24 executives from one firm were on the flight.

    The survey of 101 corporates in Asia-Pacific, Canada, Europe, the Middle East/Africa and the United States found that 16% do not have a policy restricting the number of executives that can travel together on a plane, either corporate or commercial. Of those that do have a policy, 61% only apply it to the "executive" level, while 28% include all employees, and 11% strictly held corporate officers and directors to the rule.

    Source: Business Travel World - full story


  4. Oops Boris - has your Congestion charging gone mad?

    Following the success of the British athletes at the Beijing Olympics parades were organised through London to celebrate.

    The parade went well but afterwards the drivers of the Trucks that were used received £120 fines through the post for failing to pay the congestion charge!

    The Event organisers have since paid the fines for the drivers of the 12 trucks that took part. Not quite in the spirit of 2012


  5. Spring Forum News

    The sponsors for both our ACTE supported Forums this year have been announced as BCD Travel, the Hesperia-Victoria Hotel with Buying Business Travel magazine as our Media sponsor.

    Our Spring Interactive Travel & Expense Management Forums will take place on Tuesday 12th May and will be held in the five star Hesperia-Victoria Hotel in London.

    Managing Business Travel in a Recession is the title of our first event and will feature four sessions covering Control & Knowledge, Aviation Issues, Expense Management and a Buyers speakeasy where Buyers will dictate the agenda and speak their minds on topics that really get them hot under the collar

    The full Agenda and our list of exciting speakers can be found here, which will also allow you to register and book online.


  6. Aviation outlook getting worse

    IATA The outlook for aviation is getting worse with 50% of carriers expecting a fall in profits for 2009, the latest Airline Confidence Index says.

    The Index, drawn up by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said airlines' hopes for a rise in passenger traffic had "deteriorated sharply" since the last survey three months ago.

    Half the respondents to IATA's poll said traffic had dropped in the last year while only a quarter expected demand to grow in 2009.

    IATA said that for the fourth successive quarter, airlines did not expect to make a profit over the next 12 months while 80% said their profitability had dropped in the last three months of 2008.

    Many had not yet benefited from the fall in the price of fuel and were now suffering from losses on fuel hedging with fewer than 10% expecting profitability to increase.

    Source: Air & Business Travel News - full story by Stanley Slaughter


  7. Train Operating Company to encourage online booking

    East Midlands Trains East Midlands Trains (EMT) is the latest rail company to offer lower fares for passengers who book their journeys online.

    EMT operates regular services between London St Pancras and towns and cities in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.

    The "Internet Advance" prices are highlighted in green and can be booked up until 1800 the day before travel. They are usually available on off peak busy trains.

    But the actual savings will be greater because reservations made through EMT's website, unlike those operated by the online agencies, do not incur debit or credit card booking fees.

    Advance tickets offer huge savings over regular flexible fares. A one-way London-Sheffield Advance standard class single typically costs between £12.50 and £19.00 while one for first class is priced at between £25 and £33.

    By comparison, a one-way standard class flexible ticket costs from £61.50 while first class will set you back £134.

    Until now only holders of flexible first class tickets were allowed to use EMT's first class lounges at its main stations. But the rail firm will now let first class Advance passengers use the lounges at St Pancras and Leicester for a fee of £5.

    Source: Air & Business Travel News - full story by Alex McWhirter


  8. HRS.com joins forces with Garmin

    HRS HRS.com, Europe 's largest online hotel booking portal, and Garmin, the global market leader in mobile navigation solutions, announced on January 17th that they are joining forces. This alliance has been established to facilitate the task of finding hotels in unfamiliar cities by transferring data directly from the HRS.com website to Garmin navigation devices.

    The extensive HRS.com database is simple to search through and suitable rooms can be booked directly, free of charge and with immediate confirmation of the daily room rate.

    HRS.com visitors can now click on "Garmin" on the HRS.com booking confirmation page to transfer the relevant hotel details to their satellite navigation system.

    When they connect the device to their PC or laptop, the relevant information is transferred automatically. Before setting off on their journey, it's a simple case of selecting the hotel's address as the destination and bookmarking it for future use.

    HRS.com, Europe's largest online hotel booking portal, has over 230,000 hotels worldwide on its booking system. Winner of the Buying Business Travel Diamond Award for Best Hotel Booking Agency, the online portal receives over 3 million unique visitors a month and has over 12,000 corporate customers.

    Source: Air & Business Travel News - full report


  9. Rail to air is best

    The Gatwick and Heathrow express train services have both scored a 93% satisfaction rate in the latest National Passenger Survey.

    The survey, carried out in autumn 2008 by watchdog Passenger Focus, shows Gatwick Express's score unchanged from the previous survey in spring 2008, while Heathrow Express gains one percentage point.

    The research, conducted among 26,000 rail users, also shows a record 83% are happy with their train service.

    Overall satisfaction levels have improved in tandem with punctuality and reliability (up 2% at 81%), which passengers say is among their top priorities.

    However, the survey shows there has been little headway in improving passenger views on value for money, with only 46% saying they are satisfied.

    Source: e-Tid - full report


  10. Faster Eurostar services after fire damage repair

    Eurostar Eurotunnel is due to reopen a section of track on 10 February which will see shorter journey times and greater service frequency

    The fastest journey time from London to Brussels by Eurostar will fall to under two hours in February as Eurotunnel reopens a section of track damaged by fire in an incident last September.

    Eurostar says it will reintroduce a full timetable from 23 February which will mean that the fastest non-stop journey times will be 2h15mins for London - Paris and 1h51 for London - Brussels. The damaged tunnel section will re-open from 10 February so some services before the timetable changeover may be quicker than at present.

    Source: Times Online - full report from Mark Frary


  11. BA to pilot in-flight text/internet access

    British Airways British Airways aims to provide in-flight text and internet access on the new business class flights to be launched between London City Airport and New York in the autumn.

    BA, which claims to be the first UK airline to announce the introduction of a live communications service on transatlantic flights, will enable passengers to stay in touch via their own mobile phones or PDAs.

    They will also be able to access the internet and send emails from laptops fitted with GSM data cards.

    Voice calls may be allowed in the future subject to customer demand and feedback, BA said.

    The service will be provided by Mobile OnAir using the GSM/GPRS network.

    Source: Travelmole - full report from Phil Davies


  12. London to get three more Indigo hotels

    Indigo London will get three more Indigo hotels, InterContinental's boutique brand, by 2012, the group's chief executive has announced. Andy Cosslett revealed the news at the official opening of the brand's first property in the UK capital in Paddington.

    There will be two new properties in the City of London, a 38-room townhouse conversion on Cannon Street and a 43-room hotel on Philpot Lane, and a 51-room hotel on Kensington Church Street.

    The hotels are owned by Scottish property development company City Site Estates, which has two Holiday Inn Express hotels in Ayr and Dundee.

    The 64-room Hotel Indigo London Paddington, owned by London Town hotels and which opened on the 20th January, is a conversion of nine converted Georgian townhouses in London Street, just outside Paddington Station. It is the first Indigo to open outside North America, where there are already 21 properties.

    Source: Business Travel World - full report

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